And so Gandalf returns, Tolkien melding the scenes of Christ's Resurrection and Transfiguration into one, as a returned-from-the-dead Gandalf appears to his disciples in shining white robes with eyes "piercing as the rays of the sun." This is the only place where the book that is "neither allegorical nor topical" (p. xvi) gets a bit heavy-handed with the religious imagery (even more so than in "In the House of Tom Bombadil") -- and I don't mind it a bit! Unlike with all the confusion Tom Bombadil gives me, Gandalf looks clearly like a Christ-figure to me, and I'm cool with that.
So... Gandalf is back, we're all going to Edoras, hooray!
"That would not baffle a Ranger," said Gimli. "A bent blade is enough for Aragorn to read" (p. 477).
"Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end" (p. 481).
"It was not in vain that the young hobbits came with us, if only for Boromir's sake" (p. 485).
"A thing is about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days: the Ents are going to wake up and find that they are strong" (p. 488).
"Go where you must go, and hope!" (p. 489).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Gandalf says of Sauron: "That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs to his mind" (p. 485-6). Does that ever seem a little convenient to you? That Sauron hasn't even considered that they might all want to be totally free?
Also... Aragorn does become king over pretty much all the world, so while he's not exactly taking Sauron's place, they haven't exactly formed an autonomous collective, have they?